The Montgomery Village Foundation (MVF) once again joined the Watkins Mill and Gaithersburg High Schools’ Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) to continue the MVF Scholarship Fund, now completing its 31st year. Since the program's inception in 1991, scholarships amounting to over $53,500 have been awarded to Village high school seniors. Through this fund, Village residents are able to show their support by encouraging student leadership and scholastic achievement, while assisting graduating seniors in furthering their education. The amount available for each school is entirely determined by the amount donated by Village residents.
This year, MVF scholarships were granted to four Village students: Joshua Derosier and Bidushi Lakemaru of Watkins Mill High School; and Maya Barrett and Presley Montas of Gaithersburg High School. MVF Board approved guidelines for the awards require that the applicants be Montgomery Village residents who have actively participated in and been leaders of community or civic activities, clubs or organizations, and who have demonstrated high scholastic achievement.
Joshua is ready to take the next step in his education, but has a passion to share that with others and bring them up along the way. This aspiring computer engineer has plans to give back to his community by exposing youth to the STEM field. With acceptances to 5 of the top tech schools, Joshua is well on his way to being a leader in the community.
Outside of the classroom, Joshua has already proven his leadership skills in his church youth group, and as captain of several WMHS sports teams, where he has spent the last 4 years on varsity teams. He has sought to work with others and be an inspiration in the African Student Association, College Tracks program, Minority Scholars program and the Christian Fellowship Club.
This young man has a plan, and as a computer engineer and leader, he will be soon shaping the lives of the next generation.
Bidushi embodies what it means to serve the community. With nearly 590 service learning hours, she continues to find ways to remain engaged. This desire to help is fueling her plan to major in Nutrition and Food Sciences, and become a Certified Nursing Assistant. Bidushi recognizes the need to help people in the community however she best can, using skills such as learning Spanish to start to break down communication barriers.
Her teachers describe her as an excellent student and highly successful learner, and using her strengths and weaknesses to form a positive outlook and plan for her future. As a leader in the Key Club, SGA, National Honor Society and theater, Bidushi has set herself apart as a well-rounded, analytical thinker—skills that will serve her and any future employers well.
Maya knows what it takes to excel both in the classroom and on the field. As a 4-year student athlete in Basketball, Softball and community Swim Teams, she has endured the demands of balancing a hectic schedule, as well as the highs and lows performance and its effects on the body.
Drawing from personal experience on the field, this young woman aspires to a career in Exercise Science to help others better prepare and recover from sports injuries. No doubt, sharing her own trials and tribulations will be a great asset in her future patients’ recoveries.
Beyond her athletic prowess, Maya has a passion for music, putting in as much time and effort into being an advanced musician as she does to succeed academically and athletically.
With acceptances to 9 schools, nearly 275 service hours and the personal drive to succeed in the field of Exercise Science, there is no doubt Maya has a bright future ahead of her.
Presley has been an active member of keeping the Village community hospitable for our wildlife for over a decade. As a long-time member of the Girl Scouts, her early focus on the environment has blossomed into a passion for marine animal rehabilitation. Her service-minded attitude has been evident in park, lake and trail cleanups; planting of pollinator gardens; construction of bee and bat houses; and donations to local animal shelters and horse rehabilitation farms. All these experiences have led to avenues for public education and awareness about the environment.
Additionally, as a 3-season athlete, SGA and SADD member, Presley’s leadership skills have been honed even further. These skills fostered right here in the community will serve her well at West Virginia University and beyond to obtain her goal as a marine biologist. With any luck, her studies will continue to benefit the environment and our wildlife neighbors in the Village and the world.
All of us at MVF are extremely proud of all of these fine Watkins Mill and Gaithersburg high school students and wish them all the best in the future! On behalf of our award-winning students, we thank all those who donated funds toward this year’s scholarship awards. Although the scholarship amounts awarded by MVF are small in light of college costs, every bit of aid is helpful in a practical sense, and the symbolic meaning of your gift is immeasurably great. Thanks also to the volunteer MVF Scholarship Committee members who once again gave of their time and effort to select this year’s recipients from the large pool of applicants: Clare Conlon, Sharon Levine and David Cline.